November Update

Update for residents

Ellenbrook​​ Quarry appeal – 16- 26​​ November​​ 2021​​ at the Fielder Centre Hatfield

As you are hopefully aware from previous updates EARA are a “Rule 6” party at the​​ quarry​​ inquiry. This means that we take an active part in the process, provide evidence, question witnesses and be questioned ourselves on our evidence.​​ 

We have spent a huge amount of time preparing ourselves for this process and recently submitted 5 proofs of evidence to the inquiry. These are the main areas that Ellenbrook Area Residents Association will be covering at the inquiry. ​​ They include:

  • Bromate contamination and the risk to health

  • Groundwater management plan and public water resources

  • Unrealistic quarrying timescales

  • Environment Agency remediation plan

  • Flooding

We are also lucky enough to have​​ a hydrogeology expert who has provided evidence on the bromate contamination and will be a witness at the inquiry on behalf of EARA.

In addition to these areas we have been working closely with Colney Heath Parish Council (another Rule 6 party) who have submitted proofs​​ of​​ evidence​​ on​​ Green Belt, traffic and cumulative impact of quarrying on the area.

We are now reading the evidence provided by all the other parties including Brett​​ Aggregates​​ (the quarry operator), Affinity Water, Herts County Council, and the Environment Agency to prepare for the quarry hearing.​​ This preparation incudes examining all the documents and preparing questions for Brett Aggregates, Affinity Water and the Environment Agency.

The quarry documents are gradually being added to a portal set up by​​ Herts County Council. This can be​​ accessed​​ through this link.

As you will see there​​ are​​ a huge amount of documents covering both the​​ inquiry​​ and the original application.

There is also a link on the HCC website to check the progress of the case​​ once it starts.

We will do our best to keep you updated on progress.


New Quarry Application on Ellenbrook Fields

As you are aware Brett Aggregates have also submitted another application to quarry on Ellenbrook Fields​​ in the event that they​​ lose the appeal.​​ We are preparing an objection to this application which we will shortly send around to residents for you to use to send in your own objections. Timescales are really tight on this. The closing date for objections for the second​​ application is​​ 18 November,​​ two​​ days​​ after the start of the appeal inquiry. Brett are clearly making things as difficult as possible​​ for anyone to object so it is really important that residents do register their objections to Herts County Council.

Hatfield Town Council meeting 3 November 730pm at Birchwood Leisure Centre

There are two items on the agenda of interest to residents.

  • HTC response to the new quarry application

  • To note the Community Consultation carried out by Howe Dell School and receive an update on the Town Council’s lease​​ – this​​ we​​ believe is about​​ transferring the ownership of Howe Dell Hall from the community to the school.

The agenda can be found here.

Ellenbrook Playground Basketball Hoop

We have received a number of enquiries about the removal of the basketball hoop. This decision is a matter for Hatfield Town Council, who are looking at various options. 

We had asked HTC for an update and we have received the following message from Hatfield Town Council regarding this. 

As you may be aware, this was removed earlier this year following concerns raised by residents living close to the park about safety and anti-social behaviour linked to the hoop that was negatively impacting upon their lives.  

One issue which was raised was that as this was the only outdoor basketball hoop that was accessible in quite a large area there were large numbers of people coming in cars from a long way from Ellenbrook. In May the Council therefore agreed to look into developing an alternative larger basketball court at Birchwood and I understand that these plans are proceeding well.  

 In the interim it was agreed that the basketball hoop would remain down and that we would look again at what could be done longer term following any development at Birchwood.   

Ultimately, we will need to find a way forward that balances the needs of young people locally with those of residents living close to the park. The Council are therefore exploring several possible long-term options and will be inviting the views of local residents in due course.